ATHENS, Ga. — The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is warning citizens to use caution when purchasing vape cartridges. 

Earlier this week, the department executed a search warrant that resulted in the seizure of approximately 2,370 fake THC vape cartridges. 

They said the homemade vape cartridges are identical to those produced by a California company where THC is legal. 

"When the offender was assembling the homemade cartridges, several other chemicals were added which carry additional health concerns," police said in a news release. 

They want to remind residents in Georgia that purchasing THC from another state where it might be legal and shipping it to Georgia is illegal.

Vaping continues to raise major health concerns as the number of illnesses continues to rise. 

Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a congressional subcommittee that she believes "hundreds more" lung illnesses have been reported to health authorities since last Thursday, when the CDC put the tally at 530 confirmed and probable cases. Nine deaths have been reported. 

Public health officials have labeled underage vaping an epidemic and new survey data shows the problem worsening. Nearly 28% of high school students reported vaping in the last month, according to preliminary CDC figures for 2019. That number is up from 21% last year and 12% the year before.

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